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Off-Modern: Ruins of the Future
Anri Sala and Edi Rama. Dammi I Colori. 2003. Film still. Artist’s collection

Off-Modern: Ruins of the Future

Tobias Putrih » Raqs Media Collective » Anri Sala »

Exhibition: 19 Sep – 10 Nov 2013

Stella Art Foundation

7 Skaryatinsky per.
121069 Moscow

+7 495-691 34 07


Tue-Sun 10:30-18:30

Off-Modern: Ruins of the Future
Raqs Media Collective. Strikes at Time. 2011. Film still. Courtesy Raqs Media Collective

Stella Art Foundation presents a project by the curator Svetlana Boym (USA) with a theme that has ever greater relevance today – that of alternative history (more precisely, the whole mass of possible alternative histories). The project focuses on apparent dead-ends of the historical "yesterday", on what was considered mistaken and remained as a lateral evolutionary branch, failing to give full fruit and therefore destined to assume the appearance of a ruin in history’s "today" and "tomorrow".

Svetlana Boym: "Instead of apocalyptic prediction of the end of history and the fast-changing prepositions — "post", "anti", "neo", and "trans", we propose to go off: as in off-Broadway, off-brand, and off the wall. Off-modern art brushes history against the grain and offers an alternative scenography for the contemporary ruins and construction sites. It follows Victor Shklovsky’s Knight’s Move, the zigzag "road of the brave" opening unexplored lateral possibilities of modernity.

Our ruinophilia does not mean a backward glance but an uncensored confrontation with the disharmonies of the present beyond the opposition between nostalgia and progress. Off-modern space offers an example of the international public sphere which establishes alternative cultural solidarities and focuses on experimental artistic technologies and the relationship between different media: photography, interactive digital design, architecture, video art. These works challenge historical and technological determinism and reveal a shadowplay of political and personal.

Tobias Putrih’s LLLL walls evoke ludic architecture of the Russian avant garde without the later megalomania. In the same spirit, AMO / Rem Koolhaas’ Hermitage project, proposes "modernization through preservation" and a radical restaging of the museum architecture while Allen Sayegh’s /INVIVIA Degrees of Melancholia reflects on the interstices of digital and sensual, contemporary and primordial. Anri Sala’s video Dammi I Colori and Raqs’ Strikes at Time offer us lucid dreams of the off-modern ruins. Sala’s work captures the transformation of the Socialist architecture of Tirana through contemporary art. Raqs’ video, loosely based on the worker’s diary and Jacques Ranciere’s writings, explores the ideas of porous time in the Indian postindustrial landscape. Svetlana Boym’s ruined photographs in Nostalgic Technologies capture images of conflicting modernities, digital and preindustrial, and reveal historical pentimenti of the avant garde and errors in the technological and historical progress. An error has an aura."